Ireland’s NAMA Hires Christie’s to Sell Seized Warhol Art
Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency hired Christie’s to sell at auction 14 works of art seized from the private collection of a NAMA debtor.
“This is the first time NAMA has put up for auction art of a debtor,” Ray Gordon, a spokesman for the agency, said by telephone. “It’s not expected to be the last time.”
The collection includes works by Andy Warhol, William Scott and Jack Butler Yeats, NAMA said in an e-mailed statement. Three of the pictures, including Warhol’s “Dollar Sign,” will be put up for auction in New York on Nov. 9 and the remainder will go on sale in London on Nov. 17.
Derek Quinlan, a former taxman who was a high-profile investor during Ireland’s property boom, owned the pictures, the Dublin-based broadcaster RTE reported, without saying where it got the information. Gordon said the debtor is cooperating with NAMA on the sale, while declining to identify the person.
The collection is likely to sell for about 1.5 million pounds ($2.4 million), Matthew Paton, the U.K. head of public relations at Christie’s, said by telephone.
Dublin-based NAMA, set up to purge Irish banks of risky property loans, donated Sir John Lavery’s “Return from the Market” to Ireland’s National Art Gallery earlier this year after the gallery assisted the agency with seized art. NAMA said in July it paid 30.2 billion euros ($41 billion) for loans with a face value of 71.2 billion euros after a decade-long real- estate boom collapsed in 2008.
Real Estate for Sale
The agency is selling real estate and other assets tied to loans transferred to it from Irish banks. NAMA is looking for buyers for marshland in Dublin, an airport, pubs in the U.K. and some of the most expensive land in Ireland, according to a list published by the agency on July 28.
Warhol’s “Dollar Sign” has an estimated value of $400,000 to $600,000, according to Christie’s, making it the most expensive picture in the collection to be sold. William Scott’s “Still Life Variation 2” is valued by the auction house at 200,000 pounds to 300,000 pounds.
Twentieth-century Irish and British art is increasing in “desirability and value” among collectors, according to Paton. The collection includes two works by Yeats, the brother of the poet William Butler Yeats, and two paintings by Louis Le Brocquy, Ireland’s most famous living artist, he said.
NAMA posted a loss of 1.18 billion euros last year after impairment charges of 1.49 billion euros.
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